Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses cats, dogs and other animals to help people recover or better cope with various health and mental health disorders. Animal therapy has many benefits and can be used to work towards many goals, but it was the benefits for Alzheimer patients that drew the attention of Hartenbos caring facility. Test have proven that animal therapy can reduce the effects of dementia – anxiety, agitation, depression, and loneliness. Therapy animals also help patients to be more interactive, when they are not able to do so in social settings with other adults. This is why Hartenbos caring facility decided to adopt Heidi, who now works as Badisa’s first therapy cat.

There are strict policies and rules regarding the health and safety of the elderly living in residential facilities. Hartenbos caring facility had to do a lot of groundwork before they could implement this new treatment. The safety and wellbeing of their residents as well as the therapy animal was of utmost importance. Together with other professionals, Hartenbos caring facility ensured that the correct protocols and procedures were in place to ensure a hygienic atmosphere for the residents as well as ensuring that Heidi receives the best care in her new home.

The caretakers at Hartenbos caring facility were elated to see how patients responded to Heidi’s presence: “It is remarkable to see how residents’ faces light up when Heidi comes to lie on their bed or lap, especially residents who usually struggles to communicate.”

Heidi has been working at Hartenbos caring facility for more than a year. Hartenbos caring facility feels that this form of therapy is extremely valuable in the lives of the elderly, and Heidi will continue to assist them in the care of their patients.

Do you want to learn more, or would you like to support Hartenbos caring facility? Contact the team on: (044) 695 1948 or bejaarde@telkomsa.net.

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